RE: rounding up my straying projects

Subject: RE: rounding up my straying projects
From: sguttman -at- semantix -dot- com (Susan Guttman)
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 09:37:46 -0400

My personal approach to situations like project #2 is to schedule a meeting
with the tardy reviewers, for the express purpose of going over the document
page-by-page together. I take notes on their comments and vigorously keep
the review on-track (theoretical discussions about content, grammar and
layout are vetoed or derailed with a smile). At the end, I quickly review my
notes with them to make sure all present agree, and then I can go off and
make the applicable changes. When time comes for sign-off on the final
version, you have a little arm-twisting leverage in that they (in theory)
agreed to the changes in the meeting, so the document should need only a
cursory review on their part.

The trick is to be nice about it. You are giving them a hand, helping them
to do an otherwise time-consuming and tedious job, not imposing your will
upon them. Supplying sugary food and coffee for the meeting helps too. :D
Seriously, so far I've had to apply this solution three times, and it's
always worked with a fair degree of success (though getting final sign-off
can still be a pain).

Best of luck!

-Bill S., eccentric technical writer and madwoman.
Two rules for life:
1. Don't tell people everything you know.

Kim Forbes spoke thusly:

Ok, I'm working on three main projects. One is going wonderfully. I'm
working on the interface, on-line help, web FAQ, and user manual. Everything
is going swimmingly. The second project was a combined User manual, policy
and procedure manual, and training guide. I completed it on time and it came
in at around 300 pages. I handed it to the SMEs about 2 months ago for
review. (That is the way they wanted to review it--as a whole) and then they
have told me that they are too busy to review it. So that project is on
hold. I've nudged them a couple of times, asked if there was anything they
would like me to do with the project, but I've been blown off.


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rounding up my straying projects: From: Kim Forbes

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